30 September 2013

monday's musing

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference." - Elie Wiesel

This brings to mind the talks we've been having with my elder son. May we all live a life without indifference.

Getting ready to fly off to Atlanta!


25 September 2013

answering a few clubbing questions

A few answers to your Pins & Lace Club questions! :)

First of all, I've been asked about the double yarn option and how large the project will be using a single skein of yarn. The double yarn option will enable you to make a very large shawl. The single skeins of yarn for last year's club ranged in yardage from 765 to 1050, and each pattern came with the regular sized shawl directions (as pictured) plus an option to knit a larger sized shawl. All the shawls that you see on Ravelry for my clubs - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (this one is currently incomplete) - are similar in size to the regular-sized shawls that will be presented for 2014 as requiring one skein of club yarn.

Second, payment options! I've had a few questions about the payment plan on my 2014 Pins & Lace Club, so here goes! I am using PayPal's "Bill Me Later" option, so - if you elect to use that plan - you will be selecting the option during checkout. I just checked the terms it provides and read that there are no interest charges when a balance of $99 or more is paid in full over a 6 month period of time. The offer is subject to credit approval. I think PayPal is really wanting to make this option more popular, and so it seems to be a really great deal! That all being said, if you experience problems with it, please do let me know and we will see what we can do to work things out. As with anything new to me, there's the possibility of it going a bit awry! I'm really excited about this plan though, because it seems to offer a terrific service now integrated with PayPal, and I do love PayPal. Additionally, you can pay with a credit card without opening a PayPal account if you would prefer that, and I have also had club members who have requested to send a check or pay via credit card over the phone. This is totally fine, so if you would like to do that, just let me know!

Third, there are some who have contacted me and are unable to get to their computers for various reasons when the sign-up periods go live. Remember that there are two, but if neither of those works for you, I do try to help enable you all! If you are expecting difficulties, please let me know and we will try to work it all out!

There are four shipments in the club year and I have started adding a little extra surprise pattern for fun - the surprise will not have an associated yarn and shawl pin shipment.

And if you have any other questions that are unanswered, please let me know; I will answer as best I can!

I hope you'll join me for 2014!


23 September 2013

monday's musing

This caught my fancy today; Jim Henson was an amazing guy.

"The most sophisticated people I know - inside they are all children." - Jim Henson

I can't believe it's Monday again! I always lose my sense of time when the boys have a swim meet. This week I'm doing all sorts of secret stuff, some not so secret stuff, and some getting ready for my trip to Atlanta next week! Will you be joining me? :)


20 September 2013

going clubbing with me?

Another year has flown by! It's time again for Pins and Lace Club sign-ups! 2014 will be the fifth year of my club. So difficult to believe!

Like last year, 2014 includes a pattern only option, and, for those of you with too many shawl pins, it also includes a yarn and pattern only option. :) In response to those of you who have had trouble getting to the computer on time due to work (really - work? It cuts into knitting time!), I am opening sign-ups in the morning this time and in the afternoon for the second period. Here's how it will work. Current club members (excepting pattern only) will be able to get a little jump on next year's club, with sign-ups opening Thursday, September 26 at 4 pm (16:00 hours) Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7). Watch for an email containing a link to the sign-up site with your password. After that, there will be two sign up periods on my site beginning Saturday September 28, 2012 at 10 am Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7) and another Saturday October 26, 2013 at 2 pm (14:00 hours), Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7). There will be 4 shipments of 100 shawl pins and 200 skeins of yarn available overall. (I had to limit the pins - I can only handle so much!) Half will go on sale in September and half in October. Those include a pattern, as well, of course. :) After all of those are sold, I will open pattern only club sales on Ravelry. Because of the different options and the need to plan in advance in ordering yarn, club sign-ups will be for the full year only - no half year options will be available. After all of those are sold, I will open pattern only club sales on Ravelry. If you have already bought one of the pin and/or yarn options, do not buy the pattern only option until you receive your coupon code for a free copy of the Ravelry club eBook. Because of the different options and the need to plan in advance while ordering yarn, club sign-ups will be for the full year only - no half year options will be available. Financing (the payment plan) will be available through PayPal when you check out. The 2014 patterns will all be delivered via Ravelry as an eBook - much like my eBook subscriptions, and pattern only sales will remain open throughout the year. Clear as mud? Don't worry; if you don't quite get it ordered the way you want it, just write to me (romiATdesignsbyromiDOTcom and we'll get it all sorted out! The idea is to make you happy, so no stress!

Note that yarn weights will vary! It will not all be lace weight. For planning purposes, here are the options and prices! Please note that there will be a pattern fee of $20 added to your total in addition to the option price chosen below. The pattern only option will be priced at $36 for the year, and the single patterns will not be released to the public until 2014. (There will be a fun little extra too, btw!)

Romi's Choice: $340
Each shipment includes yarn from a different indie dyer, a shawl pin (copper, sterling and 2 nickel for the year) and an original pattern.

Romi's Choice, 2x yarn: $540
Each shipment includes double yarn from a different indie dyer, a shawl pin (copper, sterling and 2 nickel for the year) and an original pattern.

Pin and pattern only:
Romi's Choice of Metal: $160
Copper only: $140
Nickel only: $145
Sterling only: $210

Yarn and pattern only:
Romi's Choice - Yarn only: 4 shipments - $200

2x Yarn and pattern only:
Romi's Choice - double yarn only: 4 shipments - $400

Whichever option(s) you choose, please note that there will be a $20 pattern fee added to the total (this needed to be separated out to make the options possible; if you end up paying it twice for some reason, please let me know!). Regular shipping to the US is included in prices. International shipping (including Canada now, I'm afraid - prices have gone up to ship to you, our neighbors) and priority mail shipping will cost extra.

I do hope this all makes sense! If I am not making sense, please let me know! And remember: you have another chance in October. :)


16 September 2013

monday's musing

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." - Scott Hamilton

Love. This. Quote. Have a terrific week, everyone!


15 September 2013

one step at a time

...or otherwise known as a few rounds at a time.

It grew quickly at first.

And then it got bigger and slowed down.

I was so excited to get to the edging when it finally came!

By that time, it had grown really heavy.

So heavy, in fact, that the needle twisted off my cable! Luckily, I have lots of extras.

Then I ran out of yarn and needed some more from Cascade. And when it came, I was in the middle of something else. Yesterday, I finally wound it and got back to work.

And then - just like that - it was finished!

Whew. Blocking time; pattern writing time. I can't wait to use it!

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11 September 2013

bigger all the time

After my shawl (#1 for Y4!) came home with me, I ripped it all out. But it wasn't a sad thing. Not at all! The earlier version gave its life so that future generations could be made better and more beautiful. And I'm really happy with the way the plan is coming together.

The original version didn't have the lace inserts between the Vs of leaves (or really they look like little trees), it had a textured panel instead. Totally didn't work for me. The original also didn't have the scalloped edge, which I love in the new version!

I also decided to do a second version in the lovely Bliss sock from Saffron Dyeworks. The colorway is Noble, and it's a perfect grey. Dee also sent some beads to go with. Yum!

I started this one with a plain stockinette section between the rows of little trees. I love the way the center of the stockinette section worked out. Sometimes (often?) plain is just perfect.

This one is all fun, since I worked out the chart the first time through, along with a great way to simplify the instructions that I hope you'll love! It saves you from having to look at monstrously huge charts. Back to knitting for me! (And I promise to tell you more about the boat a little bit later).

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09 September 2013

monday's musing

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

Love love love this quote!


08 September 2013

well travelled

I'm going to tell you about a little trip, and I can't believe it's been so long since we've been back! So much happened, then the boys went back to school (they go in mid August) and then I had that little mishap with my iPhone. Thankfully, I had already uploaded a ton of the trip photos before I lost everything. (Word to the wise: back up. All the time. Why didn't I do this? I who have back-up upon back-up of my computers? No one–least of all I–knows.) Then the Rim Fire. Honestly, the smoke got into my brain circuits in a bad way. But it's going away now! The wind shifted and I just spent a lovely evening out on the porch with Mr. Romi. We will be enjoying the heck out of it until the wind shifts back.

Anyway. We took a little road trip down to Southern California to visit my Mother-in-Law. I hurriedly wound my lovely Saffron Dyeworks yarn (Casablanca in Rusty Halo*) into a ball to take along, and my first shawl for Y4 went along for the ride.

We saw trees

and desert.

We travelled through the Owens Valley (famous if you have ever read Cadillac Desert or know otherwise about the California water wars and how LA dried out the Owens Valley and Mono Lake).

We visited and we chatted. And when we had tired out Mr. Romi's dear mother for the day, we went down to the water to give her a little break. My knitting went along, of course.

Mr. Romi's cousin happened to be about to go out in search of blue whales in his gorgeous boat (more about that boat later on this week - it's very cool and deserves its own post). My knitting came out for a cameo, but went back in the bag so I could enjoy the beautiful day on the water.

Bear was relaxing in his space.

#1 Son was controlling things.

We saw the whale blow (off to the left there), and I have so many pics, but this one sort of sums up the experience.

We were there for quite awhile, watching the whale surface and then go back down to feed again. And then we went in search of dolphins. We saw Pacific Bottlenose and Common. They swam alongside the boat, playing in our wake with their babies. They were as interested in us as we were in them.

Then our cousin got out his auquaphone. Bear was absolutely lost to us at that point, and we almost didn't get him back in the car to leave. I think we have a oceanographer/marine biologist in the making. He is a true water baby, but to be honest, this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life too, and I am not a big water lover.

We went back to shore.

And then it was time for refreshments.

We visited some more, both MIL and cousin for the long weekend. And then we were back on our way.

We saw Joshua trees,

and then we were home again.

It was a lovely trip.

*(Saffron Dyeworks is currently having problems getting the Casablanca base, but I think Mini Mica would be a great substitute!)

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05 September 2013

6 myths

I've been reading a lot of these lately and it's just put me in a debunking mood! So bear with me while I ramble on about 6 common lace knitting myths (you can see more about some of these along with pictures of swatches and all sorts of good stuff in my Craftsy class!).

Myth #1: There's no need to swatch because it doesn't matter how a shawl or scarf fits.
Wrong! You should always always swatch and block your lace patterns (this is called a "dressed" swatch), if only to see how you like the fabric you'll be producing with the needles and fiber you've chosen. Also, since lace never looks all that great before blocking, you'll be giving yourself a boost of knitting energy halfway through your project when your lace piece looks like something the cat dragged in. Just take a look at the loveliness of your blocked swatch and you'll feel reinvigorated!

Myth #2: If I go down a needle size my lace will tighten up and look better.
Eep! No! First off, see above. Second, there are some fibers (baby alpaca comes to mind) where no amount of going down in needle size will ever make your unblocked lace look like anything but cat barf. To get that gorgeous airy lacy look, you will need to use larger needles than you think and block the bejeezus out of it. Ever wonder why your lace looks so uneven when there are peeps out there who do open beautiful lace and their stitches Look. So. Perfect. Does it just make you want to scream (or whimper)? :psst:blocking:psst: So use those bigger needles, and if you don't believe me? Block it. :)

Myth #3: There's no need to block.
Wrong! Again, see above for starters. For lace especially, blocking is magic! But honestly, every time I get a certain online store catalog, I cringe looking through the projects. One or two of them might be blocked, but I can tell from the lumpy bumpiness (even in straight stockinette stitch) that most have never seen water. Your knits need to be wet all the way through and petted into shape. It makes them feel good. And when they feel good, they make you look amazing!

Myth #4: One square in a chart equals one stitch used.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong! I could have twenty chart squares in a row and only use 5 stitches! (Multiple yarnovers anyone?) Conversely, I could have two chart squares in a row and use 10 stitches with a couple of handy k5tog symbols. So when you are counting to make sure you have enough stitches, count the number of stitches used and not the number of boxes in the chart row.

Myth #5: The repeat lines in a chart are for stitch marker placement.
Nope. Those are for marking repeats only. You can use them for marker placement (I do!) if you keep this in mind: they may move around and you might have to borrow stitches from the next repeat from time to time (especially when there's a double decrease in that row). Or they might even move around from chart to chart within the same pattern. If your markers end up needing to be moved, this does not constitute an error in the pattern.

Myth #6: The black boxes labeled "no stitch" in the chart key are slipped stitches.
=8-0 Wrong-o. There is absolutely no stitch there. Nothing. Nada. Those "no stitch" symbols are there to keep the integrity of the chart so that you can see how your stitches line up in patterns where the stitch count changes row to row. Just ignore them. They aren't really there.

Do you have any pet myths that need debunking? Let me know! This was kinda fun. ;)

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02 September 2013

monday's musing

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." – Henry Ford

This morning, we saw blue sky for the first time in over a week, but the smoke from the Rim Fire is rolling down the mountain again. It was nice to see an old friend.

Have a terrific week! Please send firefighter juju and do rain dances. :)